We have embarked on an adventure.
Not yet the big trip across the Atlantic, but an equally fantastic one, and one that will take us for a far longer journey together. We have embarked on an adventure that starts on Privet Drive, and we’re very soon going to board a train to Hogwarts School.
Yes, you guessed it, my son and I have started reading Harry Potter together. He had his 7th birthday last month (just a blink of an eye) and I gave him the book, for a mother-son readaloud project.
It’s really the first time we tackle such a big chapter book, except Kipling’s Just so Stories, which were, well, just stories. So I kind of braced myself for the transition (especially after listening to the Readaloud podcast where they advise simpler chapter books first), and I waited quite a while before getting the book even though he’d asked for it, having heard about it at school. One thing that decided me is that I absolutely wanted to read to him the book before he’d watch the movie, because to me it would be spoiling the imaginary world that the book would build in his mind. Although he has already seen the movies posters everywhere in town, I don’t want him to see Harry Potter only as Daniel Radcliffe.
The first chapter was a little tough, as it took a few pages to just set the decor of Privet Drive and of the Dursleys boring routine. My son really wanted to get to Harry, and preferably not Harry-the-baby, but Harry-the-boy-with-awesome-powers. (Can you tell he already identifies himself?).
From the second chapter on I could tell he was hooked. He really tried to understand the minutiae of Harry’s life among the Dursleys, and was not rolling his eyes when I asked if he understood a difficult word or two (which he didn’t, of course, but then as I read aloud I sometimes switch to simpler vocabulary. No offense, J.K. Rowling, but considering I’m already reading a translated book, where Hogwarts is known as Poudlard, I don’t really mind). I caught him reading by himself in-between evening read-aloud sessions, which is clearly a sign of success, but kind of difficult for me to follow.
He can’t wait to see the moment when Harry meets his friends Ron and Hermione. I can’t wait to see him discover the trio. I have suitcases to fill and endless lists to check-off before our departure to America, but as a matter of books for my oldest, I think we’re all set. What do you think?